We talk all year about how we can’t wait to spend long summer days outside, but when the heat index soars and the humidity makes those “feels like” temps creep above 90 degrees, it’s just way too hot to even think about being outdoors. Instead of letting the heat keep you homebound this summer, keep this list handy for last minute A/C-friendly activity ideas.
All the fun of outside, in a refreshing climate-controlled atmosphere.
Come for Euro bungy, rock wall climbing, bowling, bouncing, laser tag and arcade games.
Address: 6002 Sunnyside Rd., Indianapolis
Visit for the huge playspace, multi-level playground and arcade.
Address: 499 Southpoint Circle, STE 101-102, Brownsburg
Try out the three-dimensional climbing structure, areas for pretend play and the musical garden if you want to venture outside.
Address: 100 Surina Way, Greenwood
Nonstop fun with laser tag, bowling, video games, a ropes course and plenty of food options.
Address: 4016 E. 82nd Street, Indianapolis
Come for the slides, tunnels and a special area for kids under two. Free to the public.
Address: 7480 US-52, New Palestine
Test out the six-level play structure, basketball court, rock wall and cool down in the quiet zone. Free to the public.
Address: 6590 S. Indianapolis Rd, Whitestown
Pro tip: Plan your visit during popular morning and afternoon nap times, or eat an early lunch and get there right at noon, when everyone else will be taking a break. See our full indoor playground list at https://indyschild.com/indoor-playgrounds-indianapolis
Air conditioned, educational and interactive.
There’s always something new here – check the website for the latest happenings.
Address: 3000 N. Meridian St., Indianapolis
See all sorts of exhibits and an IMAX movie too.
Address: 650 W. Washington St., Indianapolis
Hop on a stage coach, build a sod house wall and play a dulcimer tune.
Address: 500 W Washington St, Indianapolis
Try out different sports while staying cool.
Address: 700 W. Washington St., Indianapolis
Learn all about what makes the Hoosier state great.
Eugene and Marilyn Glick Indiana History Center
Address: 450 West Ohio Street, Indianapolis
Have fun building a fort, playing dress up and putting on a puppet show.
Address: 13400 Allisonville Road, Fishers
Pro tip: You’ll never need to leave the A/C when you park underground at White River State Park and explore the adjoining museums. Both the State Museum and the Eiteljorg have kid-friendly cafes for lunch, and you can add a movie at the IMAX or a show at Peewinkle’s Puppet Studio (both at the State Museum) to make for a full day (completely climate-controlled!)
Appreciate the great outdoors (while being indoors!)
Come for hands-on activities that explore nature.
Address: 6363 Spring Mill Rd, Indianapolis
Learn about the plants and animals who call the park home.
Address: 5901 Delong Road, Indianapolis
Explore the science of Indiana woodlands.
Address: 2000 E 151st St, Carmel
Pro tip: Call ahead or check online for kids’ activities, such as animal feedings and craft projects, to extend your time inside.
LIBRARIES AND BOOKSTORES
Read and play in cool comfort.
Your local library
If you haven’t spent an afternoon at your closest library, now is the time! Get online with your local branch to look up story times and kids programming. Want to try a new venue? Check out the aquarium and play area at the College Avenue Branch (4180 N. College Ave., Indianapolis), marvel at the huge kids’ fiction and nonfiction areas at the Central Library (40 E. St. Clair St., Indianapolis) or explore the well-organized shelves and extensive activity offerings at the Carmel Clay Public Library’s Central Library (55 4th Ave. SE, Carmel).
Explore shelves of used kids’ books sold for $1 each and pick up a board game too.
Address: 911 Massachusetts Ave., Indianapolis
Peruse children’s books, games, puzzles and toys and stay for story hours and author visits.
Address: 5619 N. Illinois St., Indianapolis
Browse the shelves for a few good summer reads for you and the kids.
Multiple Indianapolis locations
Pro tip: The Central Library downtown offers inexpensive underground parking (enter off Pennsylvania Street) for those days when you really don’t want to go outside.
Need some more ideas? Try these activities to burn off some excess energy!
Bounce houses / trampoline places
Indoor sports centers
Bowling (check out the Kids Bowl Free program at www.kidsbowlfree.com)